The Student Press Law Center is cautioning that key provisions in proposed federal education privacy rules will result in denying the press and public access to important information necessary to keep schools accountable. If adopted as proposed, draft rules pending before the U.S. Department of Education (“Department”) would require public schools and colleges to reject lawful requests for even anonymous, numerical information that includes no student identities, such as the number and nature of penalties the school has imposed for plagiarism. SPLC filed written comments May 8 urging the Department to reconsider the proposed rules, which purport to clarify schools’ privacy obligations under the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), also known as the Buckley Amendment.
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SPLC View: FERPA is a good law gone bad. While protecting a student